Friday, October 31, 2014

The Story Behind the Curls: Rochelle Graham

You may know her as the fabulous YouTube sensation who transformed her passion for natural hair care into a growing hair care business and empire. Rochelle "BlackOynx77" Graham is such an inspiration to me and I am so honored to share the story behind her curls. She is one of my favorite naturalistas and the creator behind my favorite natural hair care line, Alikay Naturals. So inspirational! Read on to discover the Story Behind the Curls of Rochelle Graham.

NCJ: Thank you for agreeing to share with myself and my readers. We are so excited to have you here on Nappturally Chic Jere!! So Rochelle, tell us a little about yourself.

Rochelle: I am a mother, a wife and CEO of Alikay Naturals; a line of hair & skin care products composed of natural ingredients with healing properties and natural humectants to nurture skin from the inside out. My hair type is 4a. Kinky, soft, versatile and FREE. I LOVE everything about my hair at every stage, from root to tip!
Initially, I began documenting my natural hair journey in college with photos and videos posted on my BlackOnyx77 YouTube channel to use as a reference point for determining the best ways to re-create my hair styles later. At the time, I never imagined that those videos would spark the birth of Alikay Naturals as an influential brand at the forefront of the natural hair movement.

NCJ: That's when I first starting following you! I love your videos! Let's talk about your hair before going natural. How did you feel when you first relaxed your hair. Were you frustrated with your relaxed hair?

Rochelle: My hair before going natural was relaxed and color treated. It was shoulder length and was slightly damaged from coloring. I thought it was okay. I just wanted it because my younger sister had a relaxer before me and I was older than her. I was more bored than frustrated.You can't do much with relaxed hair. The only frustration I had was seeing how damaged it had become from the relaxer.

NCJ: When and why did you decide to go natural? Inspired by my mother’s decision to pursue a more healthier lifestyle, which included transitioning her relaxed tresses, it wasn’t long after her transition that I decided to let go of my relaxed tresses. I went natural and “Big Chopped” in 2007. Due to color damage, I did a 2nd “Big Chop” in 2008. I had so much support from my family and friends. My husband still is my #1 supporter and is always telling me how much he loves my hair.

NCJ: What was your biggest fear about going natural? How did you overcome it?

Rochelle: My biggest fear at the time was not being able to have the support and resources that would assist me in learning how to style my hair.

NCJ: What are your favorite hairstyles and favorite hair products?

Rochelle: My favorite hairstyles are anything super cute and chic that doesn't take long to do. My favorite would definitely be a twistout I love the definition I get from twistouts. It's so hard to choose because I love all of our Alikay Natural products. My favorite products from the Alikay Naturals line would include: The Essential 17 Hair Growth Oil, The Lemongrass Leave-in Conditioner,Our Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer, The Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner and The Creme Brulee Curling Delight, All which are now available at select Target locations and Target.com

NCJ: My readers already know how much I looovvee Alikay Naturals!! Try it out chic-istas! You won't regret it! Do you have any advice for new naturals or those thinking of going natural?

Rochelle: Remember to keep your natural hair moisturized. The LOC Method is one of the ways that I help followers address this issue. What sets the LOC method (Leave-In, Oil and Cream) apart from other methods is the layering of products in a specific order to maximize moisture retention.

NCJ: Yesss! The L.O.C Method is my hair's holy grail for moisture retention! :)  What are your hair do's and don'ts.

Rochelle: I have so many it would be very difficult to list all of them However, one of my hair do's is to make sure your preform the LOC method to seal the moisture in your natural hair .Also maintaining a clean and healthy scalp for that I use the Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo and the Essential 17 Hair Growth Oil. Another do would be to deep condition your hair on a weekly basis. I use our Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner (Which is now available at select target stores and Target.com. A hair don't is to not get extremely frustrated with your hair and make a rash decision.

NCJ: What is the Biggest lesson you have learned about yourself and your hair through your journey.

Rochelle: Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20. Everyone’s hair journey is different.

NCJ: Do you have any social media forums that will allow other naturals to keep up with all of your fabulousness?

Rochelle: Follow us for the latest news, trends, giveaways and product discounts:

@alikaynaturals on Facebook Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

@blackonyx77 on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter

@blackonyxworld on Facebook

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